Happy Easter everybody!

lilyThe pure white flared trumpets of the Easter lily flower are a time-honored symbol of the hope, purity and innocence embodied in the Easter tradition.

When buying a lily, look for a plant with flowers in various stages of bloom from buds to open or partially opened flowers. Foliage should be dense, rich green in color, and extend all the way down to the soil line. This is a good indication of a healthy root system. Look for a well-proportioned plant, one about two times as high as the pot. You also should check the flowers, foliage and buds for signs of insects and disease.

There are many beautiful white lilies to choose from, but the most popular cultivar grown for Easter Lilies is the ‘Nellie White’. These lilies will make a big show in your summer garden.

At home, keep your lily away from drafts and drying heat sources like appliances or heating ducts. Bright, indirect light is best with daytime temperatures of 65 to 75° farenheit. Water the lily only when the soil feels dry to the touch, but never over water. Tip: Prolong the life of the blossoms, remove the yellow anthers (pollen-bearing pods) found in the center of each flower.

lily2Do not throw away you Easter lily after it is done blooming. You can save the bulb and plant it outdoors. Easter lilies can be replanted outside after the blooms are gone. Plant the Easter lily outdoors as soon as the ground can be worked. Select a sunny site with well-drained soil. Set the top of the bulb six-inches below the soil surface. Cut off the old flowers, but leave the stem and leaves. Do not cut back the stem until it dies down in the fall, then cut it off at the soil surface. After the soil surface freezes in late fall, mulch the soil and do not remove the mulch until new growth begins in the spring.

Happy planting!